What’s the holiday season without festive cookies?! It just wouldn’t be right, I say! I first created this recipe to make hand-shaped cookies that I use in cookie boxes for gift giving. I needed the cookies to not get puffy when baked, and stay true to their shape to work for what I had in mind. The result is a buttery sugar cookie that tastes like a mix between shortbread and sugar cookies. Best of all this recipe is super versatile and works well for the hand-shaped cookies I described, rolled and cut-out cookies, and spritz cookies formed with a little hand press.

Holiday Shaped Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Beat butter in a stand mixer until light. Add in sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and beat slowly until combined.

Now you’re ready to begin!

If you’d like to color some of your dough, pull the portion out you’ll be coloring and add soft gel food color. Gently knead in until completely colored.

  • For spritz hand-press style cookies, use the dough as is at room temperature.
  • For hand-shaped cookies, form into desired shaped and then freeze until hard and ready to slice.
  • For rolled cut-out cookies, pat into a disk and refrigerate until cooled. Once cooled, roll out dough on a floured surface and use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.

Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on size and thickness. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until set but not brown.

Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a cooling rack.

Note: If you live in or near Spokane, Washington, I highly recommend shopping local and purchasing your baking equipment and supplies from Carolyn’s Cake & Candy Supplies.  If not in this area, the affiliate links to the supplies linked above will take you to Amazon.


Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.